A Message from the Dean
It goes without saying that the past year has been challenging for the College of Humanities as it has been for all of us. We have had to adapt to new ways of doing our familiar work and have been compelled to confront the consequences of significant cultural changes. We’ve introduced new technologies for teaching and new workplace protocols and we have witnessed profound, sometimes unsettling transitions in our social and political life. We believe the disciplines of the humanities give us tools for understanding, contextualizing and coping with such powerful changes in social life and modes of personal interaction, and so we wanted this issue of Perspectives, our college magazine, to highlight some of the ways our students and faculty are reflecting on the general topic of change.
As humanists we think first of language as the medium through which we confront and shape our world and here you will read about how language itself adapts to changing social realities, how new media technologies have reshaped the way our political leaders communicate with us, how our students are challenged to develop rhetorical strategies that enable civil discourse in an age of conflict, and how, on the borders of our nation, language provides a means of negotiating between different cultures. Humanists are also committed to articulating the global and historical contexts and here you will have a glance at past moments of far-reaching political change and significant transformations of the American workplace. It is important for us to include here the voices of students, who are experiencing their college years in an entirely unexpected way that has proven challenging but still transformative.
Certainly, the public research university will continue to evolve in the coming years. We believe it is important for the disciplines of humanistic inquiry to play a significant role in shaping the future of higher education. The doors to this College have never been more widely open and we encourage you to visit us, to attend our public events, both virtual and live, enjoy our podcasts, follow us on social media but most of all to continue to support our students as they graduate into new careers in an ever-changing world.
Stuart K. Culver
Dean, College of Humanities
University of Utah